DEBATE: Why is Hip-Hop the Most Entrepreneurial Genre?
This post isn’t to rail the fusion of music and mass-branding or merchandising; it’s just a fact of the industry that big artists only survive when they’re wearing some sort of logo. That said, why is it that former hip-hop moguls like P. Diddy, Jay-Z and Dr. Dre ended up as merchandise behomoths above every other type of (former) musician? What is it about hip-hop that lends itself to commercialization and entrepreneurial spoils?
Maybe it’s just these particular men and their unrelenting ambitions, or there’s something about the hip-hop spirit that speaks to the rags-to-riches American dream. Let’s be honest, hip-hop spends a lot of time day-dreaming about a luxurious life covered in diamonds and gold. But it’s not like punk rockers and indie band don’t like money, and yet you don’t see Arcade Fire launching a fragrance empire.
Are their different standards for former rapping moguls than other famous musicians? Perhaps society just accepts rap as a “rise to power” form of art while other music represents a different sort of climb. In fairness, you see similar empires in pop music with J-Lo, Britney Spears or Lady Gaga, but there’s something different in hip-hop’s frankness as a corporation rather than just a side-gig to earn some money on the side.
Again, can’t hate the capitalism at hand, but it’s an interesting subject.